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tv   BBC World News  PBS  May 23, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm PDT

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and union bank. >> union bank has put its financial strength to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news."
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>> tripoli under attack. massive explosions are rick porter close to colonel gaddafi's compound. all eyes on the skies of europe. iceland volcanic ash cloud's head south, canceling flights. america's deadliest tornado in 60 years claims the lives of over 100 people. i'm babita sharma. thousands of dubliners and greet president obama. an mp reveals that ryan giggs is the footballer at the center
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of the injunction. welcome. we begin with breaking news to bring you coming to us from the libyan capital of tripoli were a series of massive explosions have shaken tripoli. three blasts coming from the direction of the libyan leader's compound. these are the latest pictures we can bring you from tripoli. i am not sure we have any sound. we can listen in to those explosions parent a libyan government spokesman says that three people were killed and dozens more wounded. our correspondent andrew north is in tripoli.
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>> a second set of heavy strikes we've heard. what you are hearing now is a lot of tracer fire into the sky. we can hear more planes right now. those of the heaviest strikes we've heard since we have been there. there's now a large plume of black smoke coming up from the direction of colonel gaddafi's compound. >> andrew north with the latest. daniel is with me now. these latest air strikes have been called the deadliest so far. >> what we know so far is that there had been a series of explosions in and around the capital of tripoli. many of those seem to be around the compound of the libyan leader colonel gaddafi.
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so far we are hearing reports that there seems to be around 20 air strikes. that would make this the largest nato raid since strikes began in march. that is significant, marking in escalation in nato activities against the libyan leader colonel gaddafi. the libyan authorities have said that three people have died and more than 100 people injured. we have no way to independently verify that. >> these and the pictures that have come in over the last couple hours. like you say, a succession of the 15-20 explosions were heard. we are getting a sense this is a very much an escalation in activity from nato, particularly within the last couple of weeks. >> we are getting that sense. do not forget that the backdrop
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comes against france and britain saying they will deploy attack helicopters in air strikes against libya. that allows them much more accuracy against colonel gaddafi's forces. we have seen the highest level yet to the rebel forces in benghazi. one of the top u.s. officials is there for talks with rebel forces. we have david cameron and barack obama writing in "the london times," saying they want to keep up the pressure on libya. seems there is an escalation against libya at the moment. >> we are also hearing that these nato airstrikes are coinciding with the helicopter strike, the strike helicopters that are being deployed by coalition forces, in particular with america's backing as well. >> that is interesting. these strike helicopters give nato forces of far greater
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degree of accuracy if they have had simply using air strikes. it allows them to target much more closely colonel gaddafi's forces and possibly some of the compounds and leadership residences' the t. a very significant escalation and a sign that perhaps a nato wants to ramp up the pressure on colonel gaddafi and his forces. >> i know you will stay with us if we did for the developments. a series of massive explosions have shaken up libyan capital of tripoli. three people and dozens more injured. ash from a volcanic eruption has begun to hit air traffic in northern europe. air lingus, easyjet and klm are among flights that are canceled to and from scotland. it is expected to hit northern ireland and northern england
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shortly. forced the cancellation of thousands of flights previously, causing travel chaos across europe. here is our science correspondent. >> it is happening all over again. a tower of ash ballooning in the sky above iceland. and a wind that is blowing the stuff our way. it is not the same volcano, but the ash is blasted higher. aviation authorities are warning flights will be disrupted. >> some parts of the u.k. will have destruction as early as tomorrow. and some possibility that by the end of the week that might be more widespread, but it is variable. we have low pressure president, and that means weather patterns could change. >> once again, all eyes are on iceland. this is where the ash cloud has
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moved since saturday. it will head over scotland during the night tonight. the eruption is much bigger than the one last year. it is stirring up far more ash, but the particle in sight -- the particles inside the cloud are larger and heavier. they should drop into the ocean more quickly. airline authorities have agreed new rules. planes can fly in up to this level ash, a light concentration. into this denser cloud of ash if they have permission. there should be less disruption that less time. the first british airports to be affected are at aberdeen. the passengers were hearing about the ash cloud. >> thought we'd seen the last of that last year. >> we arrived in norway. we do not know if we will manage to come back, but we will see. we are not worried. >> i am flying back and a couple
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of days to milan. >> in iceleandand, a dark cloud has descended and the ash has descended everywhere. this eruption is the largest the country has seen for 50 years and it is still going strong. >> it is like the building was breathing. that is how one survivor describeda tornado in missouri on sunday night. the twister destroyed or damaged more than 1/4 of the town and injured 116 people. >> a dawn like no other in joplin, missouri. the tornado took churches, schools, a hospital, and hundreds of homes. in the sea of rubble, rescuers
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look for signs of life in hope more than expectation, such as the scale of what happened here. and this is what destroyed joplin. a funnel of air half a mile wide. with little warning, several families to cover in a corner shop. at this point, everything goes dark, but we can hear their fear. >> are you ok? i love you. >> their prayers were answered. all survive. >> one minute it was barely sprinkling. the next minute, the whole world was upside down. >> i felt like an earthquake shaking the whole place up. >> when it finally stopped, this was the apocalyptic aftermath. power lines down, gas leaking,
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and parts of the town on fire. with 2000 buildings flattened, the injured were treated in the open air. the air ambulance is permanently grounded. by phone from ireland, the president has pledged federal disaster funds. it could run into millions, perhaps billions. that is before the human costs are counted. today, as the elements punished joplin, local people returned to pick through the debris. >> just whatever we could find. my mom, my grandmother and aunt lived here. >> rescuers had pulled seven survivors from the rubble. the governor believes more are out there. >> i ask everyone throughout the region and the country continue to pray as we work out there.
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it has been a very difficult time, but the rescues today mean there are other people out there that could be surviving. >> this was one of dozens of twisters that ripped through the heart of america over the weekend. 2011 is the deadliest year for tornados in six decades. the humbling power of nature will live with those who survived. >> he has been in joplin city reporting on the tornado. thank you for joining us. you were there. tell us what you have seen. >> it is quite devastating here. there is a lot of hyperbole thrown around when tornadoes hit, but in this case it is well deserved. the official death count is 116, but that number is going up as
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we speak. the governor of missouri toured the site for several hours this afternoon and he expects the casualties at to mount. in the three hours from the time of his official briefing to when i get a chance to follow up directly with him in an interview, there were an additional 10 survivors who had been retrieved from the rubble for a total of 17. this was about two hours ago. on the one hand, there is some sense of optimism that more survivors will be found, but on the other hand, and there is a pretty good likelihood that the death toll will increase once we reconvene tomorrow. >> we have been seeing the pictures of the aftermath of the devastation caused by the tornado in joplin city. we understand rescue efforts are underway, but thunderstorms are hampering those efforts.
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is that more you can tell us about now? >> yeah, it's rained heavily since -- sporadically, but have the late pretty much over the last 24 hours -- sporadically but heavily. at one rescue scene, the rescuers had to take one extended break once lightning had . appeared. there are risk factors for rescue teams as well as the victims of dealing with rubble and debris and other hazards. so it certainly does not make their job any easier, but they are folks who are used to working in adverse conditions. and then with the search dogs out there as well, and that as another facet to the operation. so i think certainly they are not able to work with as much
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swiftness and intensity as they would be able to if the skies were clear. the forecast suggests this weather is going to be with us for a few more days. >> we are grateful for your time. thank you for joining us. alan baker, a journalist for the ap news agency. you are watching "bbc news". what now for britain's privacy laws? the latest twist in the super injunction saga. two have died -- two people have died as storms cover much of the uk. tens of thousands of homes are without electricity across scotland and northern ireland. the gales caused power lines to fall. travelers are being advised not to travel north of princeton or newcastle by train. james cook reports. >> the power of a winter storm at the start of a scottish
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summer. all day the coast was pummeled by waves whipped up by the wind. it is pretty spectacular and hard to stand up as well. right about now, the ferry should be sailing in. that is not happening today. there are problems up and down the west coast. for these divers a trip along the shore was fraught with danger. the bus is not usually this risky in may. and tonight, long after rush- hour should've ended, thousands were struggling home. the road bridge was closed. the m62 was blocked. and falling trees killed a woman and a van driver. those that watch the weather passing, say this storm is surprising. >> it is unusual to get a deep area of low pressure close to
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scotland. with the trees in full leaf, it is causing problems getting trees down. >> that has brought the rail network to a standstill tonight and left as a -- tens of thousands of homes without power in scotland and northern ireland. in county down, the driver of this train was lucky to escape unhurt when it hit a tree. so, too, is the driver of this car. the cleanup has not even begun. >> watching "bbc news". i'm babita sharma. the headlines. massive explosions are reported close to colonel gaddafi's of bombing since the start of the conflict. iceland's ash cloud heads south forcing flights to be canceled and threatening travel chaos. we will bring you more on our
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breaking news that there have been a series of airstrikes on the libyan capital. enter north is there. andrew, what more can you tell us? >> that is right. these are certainly the heaviest strikes i have experienced while i have been here in the libyan capital and certainly some of the heaviest bombing i've experienced anywhere. it started around 1:00 a.m. local time when there were three massive blasts in the city shaking our hotel. then over the following 20 minutes or so, the blasts appeared to get closer, shaking it to its foundations at times. we have covered our windows with curtains to try and prevent any damage, but still, the windows were shaken, almost breaking them. lightse flashes of in the sky.
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then aircraft flying overhead. anti-aircraft with traces of fire. the libyans are saying that some kind of the government target was hit. they are saying it was linked to what they call the popular guard, some kind of reserve force. we ourselves, the foreign journalists, have not been able to go to the scene of the attack ourselves to see what has been hit. we were taken to a hospital where we were shown some injured people who they said had been brought from the scene. >> we are also hearing from a number of news agencies reporting that a government spokesperson said three people have been killed and dozens more wounded at this stage. is that something you are hearing now you can confirm it? >> i know that is what they have said. we have heard the reports of
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three people being killed. what we do not know at the moment is the full details of that. we are still trying to get confirmation of that, but that is what libyan officials are saying. also, they say that many others were injured. >> andrew, you said this is the heaviest bombing you have experienced since you have been there. is there a sense that this is a definite escalation in terms of nato activity? >> it certainly looks like nato is trying to send a very strong message after quite a long period in which the situation has been widely described as a a stalemate, despite greater concentration by nato on the capital. there is no apparent sign of their bombing campaign loosening colonel gaddafi's grip on power. the rebels on the eastern side
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have not really been able to exploit the advantage. from nato air cover. nato has defended benghazi. but no further breakthrough. it looks as though nato is trying to deliver a hammer blow to try and break this stalemate, but what we saw this evening soon after the strike was many people come out onto the streets showing their defiance. so it is hard to say whether or not nato will achieve its objective. >> thank you very much for that update. andrew north in tripoli. just confirming that there have been reports of nato airstrikes and explosions, some 20 explosions reported within a very short space of time. some 30 minutes, at this heavy bombardment on the capital of tripoli itself. and the government spokesman we have been quoting to you from a
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number of news agencies - - and he said three people have been killed during the latest nato air strikes and he has come out and said that 150 have been wounded. andrew north just told us it is hard to cooperate and that information from the government spokesman. we do not know whether those figures are correct. that is the latest situation on the nato airstrikes in tripoli. more on that to come. now, as we reported earlier, the is cloud from icleaneland affecting flights to and from scotland. it prompted president obama to arrive in the u.k. earlier. arrived in london after spending the day in ireland. earlier, he addressed a cheering crowd of thousands in
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dublin. >> moneygall, a village of the fewer than 300 people, in a state of fevef when the most powerful politician in the world came to call. the african american president in search of his irish routes carry his great great great grandfather left here 160 years ago, bound for new york. >> i just wanted you to know that the president take his bar tab. [laughter] -- paid his bar tab. >> the president has wowed them in ireland. >> i am very impressed. tisit's wonderful. >> it almost proves he is one of them -- this melting pot
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president warned new york, brought up in indignation, brow of his -- proud of his kenyan ancestry. the only awkward moment was when hisca car -- he talks with the irish prime minister. >> her majesty queen of england came here and to see the mutual warmth and healing that i think took place, it sends what boby by kennedy was called a ripple of hope. >> he's the 29th president to claim irish ancestry. there are 36 million voters back home. jfk made a pilgrimage, ronald reagan went to the pub.
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and george bush traced his ancestors back to the 12th century. >> hello, dublin. >> today it is not just bad about weighing at the irish- american votes back home, but the image of a president with a weight of the world on his shoulders reintroducing it obam a superstar. >> when he spoke in irish, the crowd went wild. >> [speaking gaelic] yes, we can. and the the character of the united states of america, and duthe spirit of the world. thank you. >> now it is off to london's for a day of pageantry before the hard politics begins. >> we will bring you a reminder of breaking news we are getting from the capital of tripoli in libya. where a series of massive
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explosions have shaken tripoli. our correspondent on the ground says they appear to have been the heaviest nato air strikes since the bombing began in march. within a short space of time, some 30 minutes, around 20 air strikes were heard. these of the latest pictures coming to us of the explosions themselves and the plumes of smoke drifting across the city. the only person speaking on behalf of the libyan government has been ibrahim. he said that three people died and 150 injured. >> we have three my orders so far. the injuries have been taken to two different hospitals. some of them were treated and they have been home because of their light injuries. more serious injuries -- i have
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not seen. >> stay with us. more on this to come. >> hello and welcome. >> see the news unfold, get the top stories from around the globe and click-to-play video reports. go to to experience the in-depth, expert reporting of "bbc world news" online. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its financial strength to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations.
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